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  • Writer's pictureMatt Fogarty

The Apostille Convention

Updated: Nov 22, 2021


The snappily titled, Hague Convention of 5th October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, or as it since become known as “Apostille Convention”.

The Apostille Convention was signed in 1961 and came in to force in 1965.

Just 3 nations ratified the Apostille Convention when it began in 1961; France, United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Since then another 114 countries and parties have taken up membership of the Apostille Convention.

The latest member is Guyana (18th April 2019) and the next member is the Philippines (14th May 2019).


The purpose of the Apostille Convention was, and is, to standardise the process across international borders for the circulation of public documents in order that a document's signatory could be verified once in its host country, instead of once in both the host and destination country, as it was previous to 1965.

The Apostille Convention proclaimed the end to the inefficient and expensive practice of full legalisation processes that countries had previously created and were insisting on. This is carried out by simply issuing an apostille certificate (similar to the model below).